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Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu (Read 2728 times)

Offline aragonaise

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Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
« on: January 09, 2006, 06:46:10 AM »
It seems that no matter how much I practice, I still have troubles getting my RH up to speed (around 150). At 130, my notes start to bundle together, forming at tata-tata rhythm  :-\, and I dunno if there are any better methods to practise the RH.

I recorded my playing (Bar 5-12 only) to further illustrate my problems.
http://www.yourfilelink.com/get.php?fid=1754

Same passage with speed digitally reduced by 70%.
http://www.yourfilelink.com/get.php?fid=1755


piano sheet music of Fantaisie-Impromptu


Offline pianistimo

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #1 on: January 09, 2006, 09:55:53 AM »
you can lighten your touch as you get faster (the more notes- the more naturally loud a piece will sound) - compare other fingerings...

you can use the thumb over technique (haven't tried it myself on fantasie).  and, keep your fingers closer to the keys.

or, you can just give up - taking chopin's own idea of destroying the fantasie impromptu before he died.  as this article said - thankfully his sister did not comply.

www.creativekeyboard.com/mar00/chopin.html

*i'll look into various fingerings of this.  go to a music library and see if you can find some to compare.  to me fingering is half the speed and evenness of a piece.  you might need to modify it.

Offline aragonaise

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #2 on: January 11, 2006, 02:25:37 PM »

or, you can just give up!

heh....tat sounds like a solid advice indeed. Maybe I can bother myself with

But seriously, are there any practice methods for the FI to share?
what i am doing now is taking groups of 4 semiquavers and cycling them through till they are pretty even, first at 120 bpm, then to 130, then to 140, 150...

This is pretty time consuming, and progress is s...l....o.....w.  Right now i can play RH with 90% evenness at 110 bmp. But I haven improved much in a week.

i even started a little blog about my progress.
www.pianoo.blogspot.com

its full of dubious ideas, so.....you have been warned.  :)



Offline pianistimo

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #3 on: January 11, 2006, 05:53:42 PM »
never thought of blogging as a way to keep track of piano progress, but it's kind of neat to read back when you can see some progress.  what it doesn't do is give you one direction and one direction only.  just as mayla said, us creative types can get off on soccer and the meaning of life and come back to the problem with other ways to solve - so we never fully try the first way (or the second or third).

what you need is a teacher to give you one particular way to try things.  then you try it.  e-mail ccranmer@wcupa.edu (i think that's the address) for some excellent advice.  and, if you like it - maybe he'd consider taking you as an online student for a fee.  (do they have these?)

one thing you will notice with very good teachers is that they don't ever let you start with something way over your head.  sounds like this piece is not.  and that you just need some help to see some evenness in your playing.  you'd be surprised at how little things make a huge difference.

Offline pianistimo

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #4 on: January 11, 2006, 07:17:33 PM »
if you want to backtrack just slightly, you can also try learning chopin's novelles etudes in F minor and A major.  will try to find a site that i had marked on how to work these easier ones in preparation for the fantasy impromptu.


Offline gonzalo

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #5 on: January 11, 2006, 08:39:57 PM »
I don't think you should give up... There's a way of gaining the speed you want:

1) First of all , divide what you have learnt in sections. For example: 2 measures
2) Practice them in groups of 2 notes until you have mastered the whole measure. Then move to the other one.
3) Once you have accomplished this , play no more and wait for the next day. During the time you were sleeping your hands will rest and your technique will improve making the next 2 measures easier of putting up to speed.

All this will take some time, weeks, and you must be careful not to injure yourself.
Remember : the most important thing is to play musically . That way you'll achieve technique faster ;D
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #6 on: January 12, 2006, 02:06:57 AM »
funny.  i don't remember learning it this way.  if i remember right - i decided to injure myself.  i think i tried drawing straight lines through the staff (much like bar lines) along the main beats that the notes were together.  and then, after practicing hands apart, put them together and just 'winged it.'

nowdays, i practice the safer way (not necessarily only 2 measures - but no more than 10).  injuries are minimal to none.  actually, the last time i was injured at the piano - it was when my crutches fell on me.

i'm finally learning some chopin preludes after eluding them for years.  the C major prelude always seemed difficult until i just ditched the fingering in the book altogether and played the way i wanted.  bottom two notes lh. - middle three notes rh - final notes lh crossed over.  smoother lines that way. 

anyway, once you learn the fantasie impromptu - it's probably the equivalent of learning how to use a stick shift when driving.  you never forget.  and you'll be speeding about in other pieces thinking 'this is easy.'

Offline jamie_liszt

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #7 on: January 12, 2006, 12:40:47 PM »
your playing is too uneven

Offline pianistimo

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #8 on: January 12, 2006, 02:50:59 PM »
listen to some of the great's.  they play unevenly on purpose.  it kind of puts more interest in the piece.  forget which mozart sonata i was listening to - and i thought 'WHAT!!  i've been working on playing really evenly and this guy is is putting two notes together at a time!'  i think that that's what gonzalo was referring to - practicing grouping two notes at a time.

of course, you don't want them to be the wrong two notes in a pattern of three against four by picking the group of four to change.  it could cause someone to have heart problems.

Offline lau

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #9 on: January 13, 2006, 02:42:59 AM »
When I play this song fast, I think it sounds great. But I can't play it slow. When I play it fast I just do what...

I don't even no how to say it. Nevermind
i'm not asian

Offline jamie_liszt

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #10 on: January 13, 2006, 02:54:38 AM »
Pianistimo, maybe some performers play uneven on purpose, I guess it all comes down to personal taste, but that first audio file was not played uneven on purpose. You must play it all even until you master the piece, then start messing with tempo and stuff like that.

But dont give up, practice practice practice :) Good luck.

Offline nyonyo

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #11 on: January 14, 2006, 01:41:53 AM »
If you are struggling with speed, you most likely do not play with relax fingers.
It happened to me. For example, when I listened to the Claudio Arrau's  performance of Revolutionary Etude, I thought there is in no way I can play that fast. However, a few years ago, I had a teacher who could show me how to play with relax finger, hands, etc.

Once I got the concept of relaxation, I  suddenly was able that etude and many other pieces with much faster speed without getting tired at all. Before acquiring this skill, I even could not play the Chopin Minute Waltz without fatigue.

But you also need to remember that not everybody can run fast, therefore, if you fall into that category, whatever way you practice, you will not get the result that you want.

Offline jamie_liszt

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #12 on: January 14, 2006, 02:03:03 PM »
You might have weak 4th and 5th fingers, which will cause fingers 3-4-5 to play uneven at times eg: --- represents the  gaps between notes (1--2--3-45) this is even (1--2--3--4--5) i can't explain exactly but try Hanon, it will help, finger agility, independence and even playing.

Offline shannon piano girl

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #13 on: January 15, 2006, 02:09:53 AM »
You might have weak 4th and 5th fingers, which will cause fingers 3-4-5 to play uneven at times eg: --- represents the  gaps between notes (1--2--3-45) this is even (1--2--3--4--5) i can't explain exactly but try Hanon, it will help, finger agility, independence and even playing.

hello,
I tried Hanon, it helped me, my 4th and 5th fingers were weak and now they are not.
 ;D

Offline aragonaise

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #14 on: January 16, 2006, 05:45:23 AM »
Hanon would help?  :o

hanging around in pianoforum (too much) has given me the notion that playing hanon is a spectacularly inefficient way to get technique. Of course this idea appeals to me. :) I hated Hanon, but if its useful, i would try.



Offline aragonaise

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #15 on: January 16, 2006, 05:48:38 AM »

Once I got the concept of relaxation, I  suddenly was able that etude and many other pieces with much faster speed without getting tired at all. Before acquiring this skill, I even could not play the Chopin Minute Waltz without fatigue.

But you also need to remember that not everybody can run fast, therefore, if you fall into that category, whatever way you practice, you will not get the result that you want.

very interesting.

Ok, firstly, what EXACTLY is this mystical and elusive concept of relaxation?
Can it be summarised in a few succinct words?

secondly, you mean some ppl are condemned never to be able to run fast on the keyboard?
Oh no! How can i find out if I am one of those? Will blood testing help?

 

Offline rimv2

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #16 on: January 16, 2006, 07:20:44 AM »
Ah wuz gonna simple reply to this topic by saying something smartass. Like:  Any idiot knows that if you butcher a piece at any given speed you is playing to it too fast. And that: any one who doesnt know this shouldnt be playing the FI.

But your questions caught mah interest.

And as the newly appointed bernhard temporary replacement, Ah though this would be a good place for a long winded explaination.

very interesting.

Ok, firstly, what EXACTLY is this mystical and elusive concept of relaxation?
Can it be summarised in a few succinct words?

No
Quote
secondly, you mean some ppl are condemned never to be able to run fast on the keyboard?
Oh no! How can i find out if I am one of those? Will blood testing help?



Only retards cant run fast. And even some of them can suprise you.

RELAXATION just mean not constantly have any muscle in your body contracted

Now this is hard to explain without demonstration so read this carefully before you do it.

Let your arms fall down to your side. Swing you torso around a bit. If you arms dont flop like Jim Carey in Ace Ventura 2 (when he gets shot with the darts) then you is not relaxed. This will relax your shoulders.

Once you've got your shoulders relaxed, flop your hand onto you knees. Now move  your arms inward toward you body so that wrists flop off you knees and you hands almost touch. Try to keep your elbows on your thighs and let your wrists go limp.

Shake your legs a bit and your wrist should flop around. If they dont, YOU IS NOT RELAXED.



WITHOUT moving your shoulders make your elbows rise just a bit by turning the arm much like you would wave goodbye. A good way to understand it is to wave with one hand while keeping the other one between your legs.

Go limp once more.

Both hands between the legs. Elbows on or touching the thigh.

Look at one of your hands. Look at you index finger. Lift it (make it lift). This is tension. Let it fall. This is semi relaxed. Do a pluck motion with it. This is tension. Let it hang limp. This is semi relaxed.

Why semi relaxed?

Because your body is fighting gravity.

Try this:

Stop going limp

Place one elbow on your thigh. Then place your chin on that hand.( Like the Thinker)

Now just let the wrist go limp. The fingers should extend by themselves in this position.

Observe the index finger of the dangling hand. See the nail. Then that first knuckle closest to the nail. Then that middle knuckle right after it.

With the index finger of the not so limp hand, gently and slowly push down this middle knuckle.

You may notice that your limp index finger starts to push back up as you push it down. The tip of it will curl up almost reflexively.

Ahz no biologist but I believe this is the bodies way of protecting itself from over stretching. There's ways to over come this but that vill take more typing.

Now go completely limp once again with your elbow on you knees and relaxed shoulders as above.

By hanging limp your body is naturally compensating with a bit of tension.

Sit at a piano or a table -Maybe your computer desk.

Place the tip of your fingers on the tip of the table/piano.

Go totally limp again.

Your hands should fall off (unless you are too close to the desk or you are not completely limp)

place your fingers on the table/desk/piano/whatever again

Go limp but this time hang on, just a bit, by the finger tips

Now the hard part.

Raise the wrist while keeping the shoulders and elbows limp

You should be able to feel the weight of the arm against your fingers.

Move the elbows a little bit away from the body by using the waving motion (see above) and you'll notice you now look like you is ready to play the piano

good positioning of the wrist and elbows eliminates the bodies desire to compensate (the fingers are another story)

experiment find what feels best

Tis now near the end of semi relaxation

This be the beginning to relaxation.

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Offline rimv2

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #17 on: January 16, 2006, 08:27:30 PM »
hello,
I tried Hanon, it helped me, my 4th and 5th fingers were weak and now they are not.
 ;D

Hanon!? :o

Try Liszt, Dohnanyi, Cortot and Godowsky (if you're crazy) excersises. They get the job done better, faster and with less room for mindlessness when done right.

Full independence doesnt exist, but the fingers are separated more independently with the mind, than the brute force of hanon.
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #18 on: January 16, 2006, 08:33:56 PM »
this is too much relaxation, rimv2.  just too much.  may as well ask a fish to play.  you have to have some stiffness somewhere.  but, actually.  you're probably right.  just backbone.  everything else kinda floppy.  *now how did eliza's student - oh, nevermind.

Offline rimv2

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #19 on: January 16, 2006, 08:44:50 PM »
this is too much relaxation, rimv2.  just too much.  may as well ask a fish to play.  you have to have some stiffness somewhere.  but, actually.  you're probably right.  just backbone.  everything else kinda floppy.  *now how did eliza's student - oh, nevermind.

Havent even explained how to get the fingers relaxed yet 8)

Oh yeah and...



Best Wishes,

Karim
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #20 on: January 16, 2006, 08:57:17 PM »
seriously, if no one was looking and my teacher was about to warm up - he'd probably go through that routine.  he seems incredibly loose and relaxed when he plays anything.  could you be my teacher?  you're not bernhard.

you know, it really scared me on my first lesson - my teacher imitated what i thought was relaxing (AFTER playing a phrase).  i lifted my hand up off the keyboard (wrist first - fingers down) and he imitated.  first thought  - next, this guys going to start dancing around.  but, then i realized that he was showing me what i was doing, how it looked, and if it was effective. 

there are so many extraneous movements that can be eliminated.  now i stay much closer to the keys.  to me, finger relaxation is just doing what the fingers do naturally.  whenever we do any manual task - it engages the fingers - but only at the piano do we strain.  why?  because it's supposed to be difficult - or a fast passage.  but, really, we are just sipping a cup of tea.  if you think it's easy - it will be easy.  that's my take.

Offline rimv2

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #21 on: January 17, 2006, 06:41:40 AM »
if you think it's easy - it will be easy.

Ahve sent you a bundle of roses in the mail 8)
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Offline chiyo

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #22 on: January 17, 2006, 06:51:27 AM »
this is too much relaxation, rimv2.  just too much.  may as well ask a fish to play.  you have to have some stiffness somewhere.  but, actually.  you're probably right.  just backbone.  everything else kinda floppy.  *now how did eliza's student - oh, nevermind.

Wouldn't that 'stifness' be in the fist joints in fingers (the ones closest to fingernails)?

Offline rimv2

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #23 on: January 17, 2006, 07:12:48 AM »
Wouldn't that 'stifness' be in the fist joints in fingers (the ones closest to fingernails)?

It's not exactly stiffness.

It the weight of the arms you feel in that part of your finger.

You'll notice that if you lean foward a little, you will feel this more and if you lean back a little, you will feel this less.

During a masterclass a girl was trying to play certain Fort(issimo) passages in Liszt's 12th Hungarian Rhapsody. She would arch her back almost as if she were going to lean back. It was not as loud as it could be. When she learned to lean foward instead of back, using her weight effectively,  her forte (while not booming due to bad piano voicing) was considerably louder.

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Offline acha114

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #24 on: January 26, 2006, 07:05:21 AM »
I have a question regarding the slow middle section in the fantasie impromptu.

Note the very first mordent in the middle section. I am wondering how to play them. Are they 3-note or 4-note mordents, e.g. B flat - C natural - B flat, or C natural - B flat - C natural - B flat? which way are these played?

Offline rimv2

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #25 on: January 27, 2006, 03:47:24 AM »
I have a question regarding the slow middle section in the fantasie impromptu.

Note the very first mordent in the middle section. I am wondering how to play them. Are they 3-note or 4-note mordents, e.g. B flat - C natural - B flat, or C natural - B flat - C natural - B flat? which way are these played?

Cant help ya there...

*Looks for Li*
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Offline semme

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #26 on: January 27, 2006, 05:40:34 AM »
you mean this first tr. ?

its b-flat, c natural, b-flat...
- "Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself."

Offline _tyro

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #27 on: February 02, 2006, 04:13:44 AM »
I'm not really in a position to be giving anyone advice, but I used to be able to play the FI thirty or forty years ago, and can still manage sometimes, depending  on the weather and the phase of the moon.  In my day, there were two techniques for learning rapid passages that I haven't seen anyone post here.  They should be done rapidly (although not necessarily at top speed), and always *after* you've done the slow work you need to do just to learn the notes.  We were much less learned back then, and this may be just a way of tricking your hands (and everything attached) into relaxing.

[1] *Deliberately* play unevenly -- e.g., alternate dotted sixteenths and thirty-seconds in the right hand,  or two thiry-seconds followed by two sixteenths.  Um, this is kind of hard to describe, and I don't know how to write out notes in html... let's try Morse Code:  (a) _._. (b)._._ (c)..__(d)__..(e)_...   etc.  Obviously you do this hands separately.  After you've tried out every combination you can think of, and practiced it until you can't stand it any more, you'll probably find that your fingers find the keys correctly when you ask them to play evenly.

[2] For some passages (e.g., meas 7 -& 8  )  it helps to add notes.  For example, in meas 7, play the first half of the measure + the high b, then the first half + ba, the first half + bag.  etc.

None of this is particularly pretty to listen to, but for me, at least, it seems to help.  It might be a good idea to put the piece away for a few weeks, but whatever you do, don't give up.  Good luck!

Offline stringoverstrung

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #28 on: February 02, 2006, 03:19:12 PM »
you can gain a lot of speed if you learn Chopet op10/1, op 10/5 and op25/2 first! beware: you must know what you are doing or have a good teacher or you might catch some kind of injury. When it hurts, STOP! When you've already learned them, learn them again and focus on relaxation.
Practice at different speeds with different touch (staccato/ portato, ...). Do the Cortot exercises before you start. After that: the speed of FI will be OK! :P


other shorter term tips:
- Focus on stable hands (no collapse or inclination towards pinky)
- think about the position of your wrist in relation to getting to the next group of notes. Is your wrist supple?
- read Fink
- practice Fink Primary movement 1
- don't lift your fingers separately and consciously
- make your movements smaller (practice trills)
- read CC Chang about infinite speed and speed walls (http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm
and http://members.aol.com/kwanmc/scale.htm)
i don't concur with everthing he says but interesting concepts are presented.
- suppleness suppleness suppleness!!!
- analyze your movement in very slow practice and PAY ATTENTION TO HOW YOU LEAVE THE KEYS!!!!!!!!! This is a very important factor in speed and sound quality:
eg try to play gggggggggggg with fingers 2 and 3 (no wrist action).
now do the same thing but concentrate on the finger leaving the key in that it goes sideways half a key and thus "helps" the other finger in reaching the g. Do this slow at first i mean think first and then retract it swiftly. If you do it right you will also get a richer tone (especially with pedal)
tell me did you try it and got any results for this last tip?

PS: chopet 10/5 and 10/2 are a lot easier then 10/1 still i recommend learning them in order/ you'll  "loose" a lot of time in 10/1 (and 10/2) but you'll regain it afterwards.

Offline hiline

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Re: Calling SOS for Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #29 on: August 08, 2006, 02:39:08 PM »


or, you can just give up - taking chopin's own idea of destroying the fantasie impromptu before he died.  as this article said - thankfully his sister did not comply.

www.creativekeyboard.com/mar00/chopin.html




Chopin's decision was not caused by the difficulty of the piece. ;)
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